Delhi to Kedarnath (via Lansdowne and Rishikesh)

14th May 2020

Jungle Chatti

Photo of Delhi to Kedarnath (via Lansdowne and Rishikesh) by Shashank Kulshrestha

Kedarnath is one of the most special places for me. Being the land of Lord Shiva between unexplored and wild mountains, this place has its own feel and I've never felt the freshness anywhere which I felt in Kedarnath. Though Kedarnath is still incomplete for me, I'll tell you why in this blog so that you can avoid the mistakes I made.

Also, the price shown about the trip is for 4 people as we went there with our petrol car which gave about 12 Kmpl of mileage. Also, we covered Landowne and Rishikesh during the trip. You can visit Kedarnath via Bus and I'll be telling you all the expenses and how you can visit Kedarnath from Delhi exploring everything that lies on the way.

Delhi to Lansdowne

Day 1

2 routes are available for reaching Kedarnath from Delhi. One goes via Rishikesh and the second goes via Lansdowne. Well, the drive from Delhi to Kedarnath is 467 Km long and takes about 15 hours if you drive continuously which is totally impractical.

Suggestion: Rishikesh and Lansdowne are popular for weekend getaways from Delhi, so if you are planning a weekend trip, consider these two.

If you see on Google Maps, It’ll show you the route via Ghaziabad which is about 493 Km, Just divert the route via Bijnor and you’ll be on a shorter route which is 467 Km. After almost 5 hours of drive, we reached Kotdwar and this was the first time we witnessed mountains on this trip to Kedarnath.

We took a little break after driving 5 Km ahead of Kotdwar.

First Break as soon as we started drive on Mountains...

Photo of Kotdwar - Lansdowne Road, Jhanda Chowk, Kotdwar, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha

We booked windsor cottages for our stay on Day 1. Cottages were really nice, staff was helpful and friendly, and they also provide adventure games in the cottage area for additional charges. What I love about Windsor cottages was the taste of food. It was unexpectedly good. Location is a bit off-track from the main city and for parking I would suggest you to leave your car on the road just in front of the Entry Gate of Windsor Cottages.

So, we checked in, had a quick meal, took a little rest and then left for visiting Bhull Taal and Sunset point. Lansdowne is a peaceful hill station with no excessive crowd and not many points of attractions. It stands unexplored even today. Google Maps was almost of no use and we reached bhulla taal and sunset point by asking the route from people there.

Bhulla Tal, Lansdowne

Photo of Bhulla Tal, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha

Sunset Point is not such a good place to visit. But, bhulla taal was a nice place and we enjoyed boating there in peace of the mountains. Some 400 Rupees was the ticket for 4 people for Bhulla Taal. It is managed by the cantonment members of Lansdowne. So, we came back to the cottage after visiting Bhulla Taal and Sunset point and spent the evening watching sunset.

Photo of Windsor Cottages, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha
Day 2

Lansdowne to Sonprayag

Next day in the morning at about 7:30, we left for Sonprayag from Lansdowne. Distance we need to cover today was about 210 Km and it’ll be taking a lot of time to reach there as the road to Sonprayag is not so good after Rudraprayag.

Road from Lansdowne to Srinagar is really beautiful and you can stop for a break in Srinagar as you’ll get many food stores over there. In the morning, the drive from Lansdowne to Srinagar was really refreshing for us as the road is well built and offers scenic views at every corner of the route.

Road from Lansdowne to Srinagar

Real struggle started once we reached Rudraprayag, Highway for Kedarnath lying under Chardham Yatra Project is under construction and it many times a year the road faces landslides which is a major reason behind delay in completion of the road project. There was a section where a particular section of road of about 200 meters got removed from the mountain with the landslide. So, they diverted the route between the river with stones.

We drove at around 40 kmph for a while but as the road seems to be similar for a long time, we slightly increased the speed and managed to save time. It becomes noisy driving on a bad road, but we needed to reach there before night so we continued the drive at a little higher speed than 40 kmph.

Dhari Devi Temple, Rudraprayag

Photo of Dhari Devi Temple, Silla, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha

Dhari Devi temple has an important place in the history of Kedarnath Floods. On june 16 the idol of Dhari Devi was uprooted from the temple in Srinagar for a hydel-power project. After a few hours of removal of the idol from the ancient temple, Cloudburst hitted Kedarnath Valley which resulted in Flood and mass destruction in the valley.

Dhari Devi is located in the middle of the river. It was a nice place to visit before Kedarnath and the view of the river was quite scenic from the temple. So, I suggest you visit the temple before visiting Kedarnath.

Right after Dhari Devi Temple, we continued our journey towards Sonprayag where we’ll be spending the night and continue for Kedarnath on Day 3 of this Delhi to Kedarnath road trip.

Day 1

Waterfall near Phata on Sonprayag Road.

Photo of Phata, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha

As soon as we crossed Guptkashi, the chilled breeze, tall mountains, green landscape, and a waterfall welcomed us. The quality of air was so clean and the weather was so good that you can literally feel the difference.

In Sonprayag, you need to park your vehicle in the parking premises. Charge for parking is 100 rupees per day as I remember. Let one person go upstairs and look for the hotel. Well, I won’t call them hotels. These are basically arrangements for stay, seems like people converting their homes in room rentals during the tourist season. They charged us 2000 for 4 people in 1 room.


Photo of Sonprayag, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha

You need to buy hot water for a bath in the morning. There are food stalls arranged by people and food they offer is quite easy to digest and less of spices. Most of the time we ate Maggi, Aloo Paratha, Dal Rice, and similar lite stuff and spent our time. Also, food is not at all costly anywhere on the Route from Lansdowne to Kedarnath.

Day 3

Sonprayag to Kedarnath

On the Day 3 of the trip, we left for Kedarnath at around 6:30 in the morning. You need to take a yatri ticket for Kedarnath which we recommend you to take after you reach Sonprayag on Day 2 before 5 PM. In the morning of Day 3, if you go to take the permit you’ll be wasting a lot of time.

Mandakini River in Sonprayag

Photo of Sonprayag, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha

All the people first need to reach Gaurikund from where the trek to Kedarnath starts. You need to get a tourist vehicle from Sonprayag which will take you to Gaurikund and the charge is just 20 rupees per person. The queue for getting the vehicle is usually long to leave as soon as you can in the morning to avoid the long queue. We wasted around 2.5 hours standing in the queue.

Long Queue for Vehicle towards Gaurikund

Photo of Sonprayag, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha

Once you reach Gaurikund, make sure to buy a raincoat for everyone or you can bring the raincoat along with you. Rain can strike anytime in this region and this is what we missed. We forgot to bring a raincoat with us and got stuck as rain striked after 6 km of trek. Many people like us stuck on the trek for not having a raincoat.

Trek from Gaurikund to Kedarnath is about 16 km which can be a bit difficult for aged people. The trek route is well built by the authorities and one can easily do the trek by taking proper halts in the middle and eating lite stuff.


Photo of Gaurikund, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha

As soon as we reached Jungle Chatti, rain started and we somehow continued to trek without a raincoat wishing that the rain would stop soon. But, it didn’t happen and it kept raining heavily. So, after trekking for a total of 6 Km, we decided that we cannot do the trek without the raincoat and there were no shops for buying it. So, we took some time and made the final decision to head back. It was snowing at the temple and we all were wet due to the rain. Continuing to reach the temple must have made us fall ill. So, we decided to come back next year in 2020. Well, you all know how 2020 is going on. So, we missed it this year too.

Well, for all those reaching the temple, you’ll witness the extreme beauty of the mountains as you reach near the temple and the trek worth the efforts. Temple gets closed early in the evening so you may visit the temple the next morning. You’ll be getting stay arrangements near the kedarnath base camp. There are GMVN cottages, tents, private homes, and other places where you can stay and the price will be quite similar or a bit more than what you paid at Sonprayag.

Day 4

Kedarnath to Sonprayag / Rudraprayag

Once you visit the temple, spend a couple of hours in Kedarnath Valley and then head back to Gaurikund. Again, you need to stand in the queue to get the vehicle for Sonprayag at the same charge of 20 rupees per person.

We continued our journey in the evening towards Rudraprayag and we reached there by 11 PM. I suggest you spend the night in Sonprayag and continue in the morning for Rishikesh. The roads are not so good but if you are confident over driving at night on wet roads in the mountains then you can continue your journey towards Rudraprayag and spend the night there.

Day 5

Sonprayag / Rudraprayag to Rishikesh

Source: Unknown

Photo of Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha

Rudraprayag is the meeting point of river Alaknanda and Mandakini. We continued our drive to Rishikesh in the morning and took a little halt at Rudraprayag view point. From Rudraprayag View Point, you can see the confluence clearly and take some pictures.

The next stop we took a break at was Devprayag which is quite close to RIshikesh. Devprayag is the confluence of river Alaknanda, Saraswati, and Bhagirathi that takes the name of River Ganga which you see ahead in Rishikesh and Haridwar and beyond.

Now, we continued towards Rishikesh. The drive from Devprayag to Rishikesh was a good experience as we drove along the river Ganga. As I’ve already been to Rishikesh three times, we decided not to spend the night in Rishikesh and continue for Delhi. You can spend the night at Rishikesh if you want. It’ll be a good experience. We were running out of time as I had some work to do in Delhi, we rushed to Delhi instead stopping in Rishikesh. Although, we took a little 1.5 hours break in Rishikesh.

Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh. Someone is enjoying ice-cream...

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Shashank Kulshrestha

So, we reached Delhi back at around 3 AM in the morning.

Day 6

Cost for 4 people for this trip will be around 22000 for you, we did it in just 18000 as we didn’t take a break at Kedarnath and Rishikesh. Main expense was the vehicle’s fuel which cost around 6000 and rest was food and stay expenses.

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